Towards a Healthier Canada – Infographic

Important efforts are underway to help make social and physical environments where children live, learn and play more supportive of physical activity and healthy eating. Measuring, monitoring and reporting on key indicators in these areas will assist governments (and other sectors) in gauging progress and informing future efforts.

Healthy Weights

Childhood obesity has both immediate and long-term negative health outcomes, and is strongly linked to various chronic conditions, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and certain types of cancer.

  • Almost 1 in 3 children and youth are overweight or obese
  • 17.2% are overweight and 13.1% are obese

Physical Activity

Physical activity plays a fundamental role in healthy weights and healthy living, and helps to prevent chronic diseases.

  • 52.1% of children get less than 3 hours per week of active play outside of school
  • 25.6% of children use active travel as their main form of transportation to school
  • 37.6% of children are meeting current Canadian physical activity recommendations
  • 7% of children take at least 12,000 steps per day
  • 2. hours average number of hours per week that children take part in physical activity outside of school in lessons or league or team sports
  • 73.1% of children exceed current sedentary behaviour recommendations for screen time
  • 9.2 minutes average number of minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity obtained by children between 3 and 5 pm

Healthy Eating

The availability and accessibility of nutritious foods are necessary for healthy eating, an important factor in promoting healthy weights.

  • 59.5% of children report eating breakfast on weekdays
  • 90.3% of new mothers begin breastfeeding at birth
  • 31.5% of new mothers feed their babies only breast milk for the first six months
  • 44.6% of children eat fruit or vegetable at least 5 times per day
  • 14.7% of children report drinking soft drinks, fruit drinks or sport drinks every day

Supportive Environment

Actions to support change must reach children where they live, learn and play. Many sectors at all levels play a role in building supportive social and physical environments.

  • 70.7% children who obtain adequate sleep
  • 94.9% of parents report that local public facilities and programs for physical activity and sports are available
  • 36.1% of parents report playing active games with their children “often” or “very often”
  • 10% of households with at least one child under the age of 18 are considered food insecure
  • 2 hours average number of hours per week of physical activity obtained by children during class time
  • 24% of parents cite safety concerns as a barrier to physical activity
  • 79.6% of youth agree that it is safe for younger children to play outside during the day
  • 50.8% of schools have a committee that oversees policies and practices concerning physical activity or healthy eating
  • 50.5% of schools have an improvement plan with items related to physical activity and/or healthy eating
  • 22.5 million unhealthy food and beverage ads were targeted to children ages 2 to 11 years on the internet in 2015-2016
  • 2.25 million unhealthy food and beverage ads were targeted to children ages 12 to 17 years on the internet in 2015-2016